High street rebellion against impersonal stores as one in three call for more independent stores

Despite a spate of recent high-street failures, new research released reveals that there is light at the end of the tunnel for bricks and mortar stores.

The research shows that a third of Brits want to see more boutiques and independent stores on local high-streets, whilst nearly 1 in 5 would like to see more pop-up stores opening up locally.

Over 15 per cent of shoppers are motivated to buy from independent stores by their desire to support small local businesses, nearly 1 in 5 feel that there is a wider variety of unique products available, and 15 per cent like shopping in boutiques to avoid buying the same items as everyone else.

But despite this, almost 60 per cent think that they are too expensive, 15 per cent are not shopping in independent stores because they simply don’t know where to find them, and over 10 per cent say that a lack of mobile/online presence is putting them off as they can’t research key store and product information on-the-go.

The research reveals that national retailers are still the number one shopping location for over 30 per cent of consumers, and John Lewis and Debenhams at just under 30 per cent and Primark, at just over 20 per cent ranked top of the ‘most desirable places to shop’ list.

However national retailers need to adapt if they are to survive the current economic climate as consumer frustrations associated with shopping in high-street chains include over-crowding in-store, items not being in stock, long queues for the changing rooms and not being able to find the right products.

According to the research, food and drink stores provide the most ‘likeable’ high-street shopping experience for British consumers, whilst over half of Brits dislike their local high-street shopping experience when looking for fashion items.

Alan Gabbay, Founder, Udozi who commissioned the research, commented on the findings: “Despite the demand for more independent retailers on Britain’s high-streets, failure to keep up with the latest technological innovations such as mobile means that many potential customers are unable discover London’s hidden boutiques. Independent stores need to evolve and learn to embrace all channels for customer engagement if they want to survive – especially in times of austerity.”

When asked about their source of shopping inspiration, surprisingly, 15 per cent say that they still browse traditional store catalogues for shopping advice, whilst only 5 per cent of us are inspired by celebrities when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Just over 1 in 5 Brits look to magazines as their main source of shopping inspiration and just under 20 per cent talk to friends for shopping advice.